One of my favorite activities is to roam neighborhood streets, preferably the older tree-lined variety, looking at houses and I think the best way to do so is on foot or on a bicycle. There are various reasons for this, aside from the obvious exercise benefits. When walking or biking you get better views of the homes and can linger a little longer without worries of blocking the car behind you, and if a second peek is necessary it is far easier to spin around on a bike than in a car. Plus, for some reason I hate involving people's driveways in my 3-point turns.
Another benefit to walking and biking has to do with Picture Time. Let's say you spy a striped awning or a sculpted topiary or a "cherry-on-top" cupola that must be added to your photo library. If you are stopped in your car and taking a picture through the window (and if the homeowner happens to spot you) you are a potential Weirdo or some such other kind of potential domestic threat. If, however, you are on a bike or on foot, you might be an Architecture Enthusiast with an eye for good design! At least, that is what I hope anyway.
I sometimes feel uneasy standing outside someone's home taking pictures but I hope it is understood that I am doing so because I admire some aspect of the home. It occurred to me that I might follow the lead of the utility company and don a fluorescent vest with "Architect" emblazoned across the back. That way if the homeowner sees me milling about out front they will know I am on Official Business documenting the architectural highlights of the city. Rather than feel uneasy that they are under surveillance the bright vest assures them that no, it's okay, I'm an architect.